IIT-Madras Researchers Develop India’s First Microprocessor
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras have designed and developed India’s first indigenous microprocessor for mobile computing devices. As a result, it will help to diminish India’s reliance on foreign microprocessors. The microprocessor is on par with International standards hence, it is fit for sectors like Defence and Communication.
The chip is developed under project ‘Shakti’ and was manufactured at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) in Chandigarh. It is the first RISC V (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) microprocessor that is fully designed and developed in India. Shakti microprocessors are built on an open and free programming language ISA which stands for Instruction Set Architecture. The RISC-V ISA provides hardware and software freedom for future developments, due to its open source nature.
India’s Latest Computing Achievement
Most noteworthy, the Indian chips eliminate the risks of backdoors or trojan infested hardware which is significant as these will be used in sectors by defence and government agencies where security is a major concern.
Kamakoti Veezhinathan, who is the lead researcher at RISE (Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering ) laboratory states that the Digital India movement will be hugely benefited by this feat as many applications require task-specific processor cores.
The clock speeds of Shakti processors are designed to suit various electric devices like consumer electronic devices, networking systems, and embedded low power wireless systems. Project Shakti is financed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
IIT Madras officials said that this homegrown microprocessor is a major step towards computing self-sufficiency in the future. The Shakti processors use Bluespec open-source High-Level Synthesis (HLS) language.
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Even more, the first batch of 300 chips was manufactured in July 2018 at Intel’s facility at Oregon, US. The processor is called the RICE CREEK and it was successfully able to boot the Linux operating system. Above all, the latest chips are manufactured in India.